Q1. What is the Maryknoll Convent School Foundation Limited?
A1. Maryknoll Convent School (MCS) Foundation Limited is the School Sponsoring Body of MCS since 2005; prior to that, it was the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic. As many Maryknoll Sisters who were actively involved with the School started to retire and moving back to the Maryknoll Motherhouse in New York, the Sisters deliberated at length on how to pass the MCS baton. The decision was to invite a group of former students, teachers and principals to establish the Maryknoll Convent School Foundation Limited, entrusting them to carry on the Maryknoll spirit and lead the School into the future.
Q2. What is the mission of the Foundation? How is it similar or different from the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic?
A2. The vision and mission of the Foundation follows the guidance of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic. The primary objectives of the Foundation are:
- To provide all-round, affordable and quality education for girls in accordance with the Vision and Mission;
- To promote Christian values in a school setting;
- To offer financial assistance to needy students; and
- To raise money for the promotion of quality education generally and for the Maryknoll Convent School Educational Trust (so long as it remains a charitable trust) in particular.
Q3. What are the roles and responsibilities of the Foundation as a School Sponsoring Body?
A3. The roles and responsibilities of the Foundation are stated in the MCS Foundation Articles of Association Section 42. In summary, the School Sponsoring Body is responsible for supervising and overseeing the operation and administration of the school, as guided by the Vision of the school, to ensure that the Mission is carried out. The Foundation also gives general directions to the Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) in formulating the school’s educational policies, and overseeing the IMC’s performance.
Q4. How can I contribute to the Foundation?
A4. The are many ways to be involved in the work of the Foundation. You could offer your time and expertise in one of the three current sub committees – Communications Committee, Membership Committee, and Trademark Committee. The Foundation’s Council may also form other committees and task teams as and when the need arises. These are also effective avenues for Ordinary and Executive Members to understand the roles and responsibilities of the School Sponsoring Body, such as the AGM and events organized by the Membership Committee.
Every alumna joins as an Ordinary Member, and as you participate in more events and contribute to the Foundation’s committees or task teams, you could be elected or appointed as an Executive Member. As an Executive Members you assume broader responsibilities, which obviously means more commitment of time. Executive Members could be elected to be Councilors, who have the responsibility to oversee Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) of both the primary and secondary schools, as stipulated in the Foundation M&A.
Q5. What are the reasons for charging membership fee for the Foundation?
A5. Other than membership fees, the Foundation does not have any other income, nor does it carry out any active fund raising activities. However, the Foundation does have running expenses such as administrative support, and the maintenance of the website, etc. The Foundation also incubates projects that will benefit the School and the students. The mentorship programme is one example – initiated and nurtured by the Foundation for a number of years, the programme is currently organized by the teachers and senior students of the Secondary School. The membership fees is therefore a nominal source of income expended for purposes mentioned above.
Q6. What is the difference between the Foundation, the Former Students’ Association (FSA), and the MCS Educational Trust?
A6. Below is a comparative chart, differentiating the roles and responsibilities of the three organizations. While each has a clear mandate, members of these three bodies work closely with each other on an on-going basis.
- The Foundation is a charity and the School Sponsoring Body (in place of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominica ), set up by the Sisters in 2005 to provide strategic direction of the school;
- The MCS Educational Trust is the body set up by alumna in the late 80s and early 90s, with the specific role to raise funds for the school for education purposes or facilities upgrade that are not covered by Government provision;
- The FSA is the social club set up by graduates in the 50s to organise events to keep alumna “happy together”
Q7. How does School-based management affect the Foundation?
A7. With the implementation of School-based management, our two Schools, Maryknoll Convent School Secondary Section and Maryknoll Convent School Primary Section, has each set up an Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) to replace their respective School Management Committees. The Foundation’s relationship with the IMCs is in fact even more aligned. Please see the Q8 for details.
Q8. What is the relationship between the Foundation & the two Incorporated Management Committees (IMCs)?
A8. The Foundation is the organization with the ultimate responsibility to ensure Maryknoll Convent School continues to be a girls’ school with the Christian values and creeds, following the spirit of the Maryknoll Sisters as enshrined in the Vision and Mission statement. As the School Sponsoring Body, the Foundation appoints the majority of the managers to the IMCs, including the Supervisors of the two Sections. Its role is to provide strategic directions for educational policies and guiding principles for the IMCs.
The IMC is the body responsible for the management, administration and operation of the School, consisting of manager representatives from the Foundation, teachers, parents, alumnae, an independent person, plus the Principal. The Committee makes decisions and sets policies regarding the day to day running of the school in accordance with the Vision and Mission as well as the strategic direction and guiding principles laid down by the Foundation.
Q9. Will Maryknoll continue to be a Catholic School?
A9. Maryknoll Convent School was founded by the Maryknoll Sisters as a Catholic girl school in 1925 and will continue as such. We believe that each person is formed in God’s image. We wish and help our students get to know the hope and the meaning of life through knowing Jesus Christ. At the same time, we respect each student’s individuality and her choice of path, both worldly and spiritual, as we believe God’s love embraces all.
The Catholic tradition is the bedrock of the Maryknoll tradition; Christian creed and values are the foundation of our education philosophy.
Q10. Will MCS choose to join the Government’s Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS)?
A10. Maryknoll Convent School was established in 1925 by Maryknoll Sisters to provide education to girls from all backgrounds. It was post-war Hong Kong then, yet the Vision and Mission laid down by the Maryknoll Sisters remain unchanged as the cornerstone of MCS.
The DSS topic had been thoroughly discussed and considered by the Maryknoll Sisters and the MCS Foundation. Below captures our views:
- Behind the Vision and Mission for Maryknoll Convent School is a philosophy for full person development, encompassing concepts of balance, values, and the spirit to serve others;
- We place a strong emphasis not only on the development of the individual but also her relationship with others, the community, Nature, and God;
- We want to ensure Maryknoll Convent School can continue to serve girls and families from all walks of life, and we strive to offer them an education of the highest quality;
Under the current education policies of Hong Kong, it is the view of the Maryknoll Sisters and the MCS Foundation that being an aided school would better allow us to carry out our mission.